Photo of Arrochar Playground via Department of Parks and Recreation
Tomorrow, March 20th, the first day of spring–otherwise known as the day before another half-a-foot of snow gets dumped on us–NYC will celebrate five park re-openings, one for each borough (h/t amNY). The Department of Parks and Recreation’s ribbon cuttings represent a total of $23.9 million in capital improvements ranging from park landscaping, new play areas, exercise spaces for adults, water features, and new comfort stations. The parks are: Staten Island’s Arrochar Playground; Queens’ Grassmere Playground; Brooklyn’s Hilltop Playground; the Bronx’s Lyons Square Playground; and Manhattan’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Playground in Harlem.
All the details
Photo by David Lloyd/SWA
Long Island City is getting five more glorious acres of waterfront park space, with the city expected to complete Hunters Point South Park in the coming months. The second phase of the park, which stretches below 54th Avenue and wraps around Newtown Creek, is nearing completion after three years under construction, according to LIC Post. The city’s Economic Development Corporation says the opening date will come by late spring or early summer, so New Yorkers will have a whole new outdoor amenity to enjoy when the weather warms up.
The park has tons of cool features
Photos via Central Park Conservancy
The Belvedere in Central Park was conceived as a miniature castle by Calvert Vaux, co-designer of the park, in 1869. It opened with some of the best views of the city’s prized green space–the name Belvedere was chosen as it is Italian for “beautiful view.” But the years have taken their toll on the stone structure, which has not been renovated since 1983. Now the Central Park Conservancy will close it to address issues like cracked pavement, a leaky roof, and plumbing issues. Starting this Monday, February 26th, Belvedere Castle will be off-limits to the public for its restoration, and will not reopen until 2019.
More details of the reno
Rendering via Pier55, Inc
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer appointed Douglas Durst on Friday to the board of the Hudson River Park Trust, a group he has frequently criticized over their proposed Pier55 project. Durst admitted last year to funding a lawsuit to stop the trust’s plan for an off-shore park on the Hudson River. While billionaire businessman Barry Diller, who is funding the $250 million project, halted construction in September, the plan was restored a month later, with pressure and financial help from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Brewer told Crain’s that Durst didn’t volunteer, she asked him to join the board. “I think he loves the park,” she said.
Find out more
Sketch of Elizabeth Street Garden’s Site A courtesy of Ella Barnes/ESG
A nonprofit with a mission to protect and preserve the Elizabeth Street Garden in Nolita released on Tuesday a plan to designate the park as a Community Land Trust (CLT), meaning it would no longer require funding from the city. The group, aptly named Elizabeth Street Garden (ESG), unveiled renderings of what the park could look like as a CLT, including a new composting station, solar panels, a volunteer work shed and more. The proposal from ESG comes after the city announced last month plans to demolish the garden to make way for an affordable senior housing development.
More this way
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced a plan to create a 407-acre state park on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, which would be the largest state park in New York City. As a part of the $1.4 billion “Vital Brooklyn” initiative, the park would add much-needed green space in the Central Brooklyn neighborhood, an area the governor has described as a “park desert.” Formerly the site of two landfills, the open space will be converted into parkland with opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, as well as educational facilities and an amphitheater.
See renderings of the park here
Rendering courtesy of Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
After years of public battles between open space advocates and public officials, the city announced on Friday that it will create an affordable senior housing development at the site of the Elizabeth Street Garden in Nolita. Dubbed Haven Green, the project will be an energy-efficient passive house, with units reserved for seniors earning between $20,040 and $40,080, as well as formerly homeless seniors. According to the Daily News, the project calls for 121 deeply affordable units with 7,600 square feet of public open space in a new garden. Developed by Pennrose Properties, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and RiseBoro Community Partnerships, Haven Green will use 60 to 70 percent less energy than a standard building of its kind and will be designed to manage and reuse stormwater through permeable surfaces.
More this way
Yesterday morning construction topped off at the Statue of Liberty Museum, a brand new $70 million building on Liberty Island designed by FXFOWLE and ESI Design. Project designs were released last fall; soon after the project was approved. Construction has been moving along steadily ever since, and today marked a milestone before the 2019 opening. Diane von Furstenberg, who is still working to raise money for the museum, and Stephen Briganti, president of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, signed their names on the beam symbolically hoisted to the top of the structure. Once it opens, the 26,000-square-foot space will hold an immersive theater and gallery that showcases the Statue of Liberty’s original torch, framing stunning views of New York’s most iconic monument.
Tour the construction site
Central Park Tower, New York City’s future tallest residential skyscraper, is getting a more down-to-earth design. As CityRealty learned, the supertall at 225 West 57th Street on Billionaires’ Row will feature a sprawling landscaped space designed by HMWhite. The firm’s terrace design includes both passive and active recreational areas, like a central open lawn and a sequence of complimentary garden rooms. Renderings of the projected 1,550-foot tall tower reveal a lap pool overlooking West 57th Street and a sun deck among pergolas and trellises.
More this way
Image via NYC Parks and Recreation
The effort to turn Fresh Kills Landfill into a verdant and vibrant destination for wildlife and outdoor recreation received a huge boost on Monday (h/t DNA Info) as the city awarded a $22.9 million contract for the construction of the first major section of Freshkills Park. Up until now, the swath of Staten Island land—covering 2,200 acres of former dumping ground that has since undergone nearly two decades of remediation—has remained closed to the public, save for a few times a year when select areas are opened for “Discovery Days” that introduce visitors to the terrain and events that will eventually become mainstays of Freshkills when it is completed in 2036.
more details on what to expect